The influential Frenchman sustained a groin injury on international duty and missed the defeat to Swansea at the weekend.
Now he could be forced to go under the knife, which would rule him out of action for the remainder of 2012.
"Cabaye looks like he could be out four to six weeks," Pardew told the Evening Chronicle.
"Cabaye might possibly have to have a little surgery on that groin. It could be we run all the way to the end of January before I have my first team to pick from."